|East Mississippi swept, 5-1 and 2-1, in Saturday baseball action at Jones County|
ELLISVILLE – Playing their second road doubleheader in as many days, the East Mississippi Community College baseball team was swept, 5-1 and 2-1, by Jones County Saturday afternoon at JCJC’s new Community Bank Park.
The EMCC-JCJC twinbill featured excellent pitching and sparkling defensive plays from both clubs, as the teams combined for just 23 hits while committing only three errors in 15 competitive innings of baseball on the afternoon.
“We played a lot better today against a very good baseball team,” EMCC head baseball coach Chris Rose noted. “Our pitching was excellent again and we made some great defensive plays behind them. We had the opportunities, but we just couldn’t get the big hit we needed.”
In the opening game, the home-standing Bobcats reached EMCC starter Blake Hutcheson for three runs in the second inning on an RBI single by Chase Headrick and a two-out, two-run single by Graham Odom. The visiting Lions responded by getting back a solo run in the third on a run-producing infield out by Connor Cox, though the visitors couldn’t manage additional scoring after loading the bases with just one out.
Benefitting from solid relief pitching over the final four frames by Ryan Waters, Jones County sealed its first victory of the new campaign by plating two more runs in the fourth. In relief of starter Vito Perna, Waters allowed just three hits and fanned four in picking up the win for the defending MACJC South Division champions.
Hutcheson, a freshman left-hander, pitched effectively in allowing six hits and striking out three over five innings, but the Saltillo product fell to 0-2 on the year. Former Oak Hill Academy product Mitch Bohon and freshman Antwan Ratcliff each had two singles for EMCC in the opener.
In a classic pitching duel between JCJC’s Logan Riddell and EMCC sophomore Justin Pritchett during the nightcap, the Bobcats once again struck first on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Roberts in the second inning. The Lions knotted the score at 1-1 when Tyler Aldridge scored on a passed ball after singling to open the fourth and advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ratcliff and later moving to third on a subsequent out.
Both teams had opportunities late in the game to take the lead. In the sixth inning for EMCC, Ratcliff stroked a one-out double to left field but was left stranded in scoring position. The contest went to a deciding extra inning when JCJC failed to take advantage of a leadoff double by Odom in the bottom of the seventh. After Odom later advanced to third on a wild pitch, Lion reliever Jake Upton fielded Perna’s squeeze-bunt attempt and threw to catcher Noah Greer to nail the potential winning run at home.
With Riddell finishing his masterful complete-game, four-hitter by retiring the Lions in order in the eighth inning, the Bobcats would this time capitalize on a leadoff hit. Chad Guise opened the extra frame with a single and moved to second when Tre Keyes was hit by a pitch. Roberts then drove in his second run of the nightcap with a game-winning single that found the right-center field gap and scored Guise to complete the sweep.
Though finishing with a non-decision in the contest, EMCC’s Pritchett, a former Northeast Lauderdale product, scattered five hits over six-plus innings while walking but one batter. For Jones County, Riddell fanned five Lion hitters and did not issue a walk in eight innings of four-hit baseball.
The 0-6 EMCC Lions will travel to Copiah-Lincoln for a Tuesday (Feb. 15) doubleheader in search of their first win of the 2011 baseball campaign.
|Last Updated ( Saturday, 12 February 2011 )|
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